Welcome to Platoon Forward!

Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thank you and Patrol AAR

First thank you for the response to Platoon Forward! I was hoping to sell 100 copies eventually so I wouldn't feel guilty about Rich publishing it. It has sold over 150 in the first week! More important, people seem to be enjoying it. That makes me happy. This will also allow me to give our local food shelter a nice check. Thank you for that too.
I thought I would go over a patrol type example a little in depth since now you guys really know what I am talking about. Here goes. We are going to use my british squad in Italy. The guys from the Couterattack at Orveto and the Monestary at Taromina. If you want to go back and read those go ahead I'll wait! As always this is an actual battle with these guys (7th to be exact.)

"Balls" had not laid into "Red" after the counterattack at Orvetto like Red had figured. The whole company had been beaten up prety bad. 1st section had not been reconstituted. After the front had stabablized the company rested for a whole day before Red was called to the command post. "Lt, I want to see what Jerry is up too. I would like you to take your platoon on a combat patrol to these hills and have a look around. Take everyone including your mortar as I don't want casualties and it will give your chaps a boost of morale." Red thought a better boost for morale would be another day of rest but thought better than to question the major.


Lt Red Talbot Fickle/ Government Gr III
Sgt Theo Barns Cocky/Hedonism Gr II 2nd section
Cpl Scottie McNabb Addicted/ Alcohol Gr I 3rd section

We are using the Patrol scenario. I have no set item I want to place on the board so we will roll it up cold. As we are on the east coast of Sicily we will us the heavy terrain chart and fill the board in. Once I have the major features I add some brush, rocks and a wall around one of my buildings. The final board is shown below looking south to north.

What is your plan Red?
Red decides to move up the right side of the board go between the 2 hills. Have his mortar move up onto the center hill and leave Sgt Barns in the center watching the road and building. This will leave Cpl McNabb to check out the forest on the right side. That done, McNab will come back to the buildings. After all is checked out they will withdraw through the swamp on the left.
With my plan set we have to see where we will encounter the enemy. I love this part about the patrol scenario; you just never know but it is often close range! Opposed die rolls give me a 2 turn jump. I move 3 hexes a turn so get my forces to the hills. One blind enters at 3 which in this case is the road on the top left and one blind enters at 4 which is behind the right most building. I tend to have my patrols in an arrow head formation so I initially use 1 marker and this marker is whchever part of the formation is closest to me. I can easily see folks coming down the road so I roll and this is the dummy. Nuts! That means the guys behind the building are real. I deploy 4 A 2+2 and 2 B 1 +1 markers behind the building. I do not deploy a C though I earn one. My ratonale is this; on a patrol coming through this type of ground in Sicily the germans probably would not have a vehicle. Had the blind coming down the road been real I would have deployed a C blind because that would make sense to me. This is what I mean when I say Platoon Forward is the 90% solution 90% of the time. I just added my 10%. If a C blind there makes sense to you by all means use it. So the german has 1 A and B break right, 2 As head into the building and 1 A and 1 B break left into the woods.

The initial encounter
Cpl McNabb caught in the open
The british can't spot a blessed thing. So Cpl McNabb starts to carry out the brilliant plan to search the woods. At this point several german blinds are set and have good shots at 3rd section in the open. I start to roll on the blinds table using the patrol side. Make sure you add or subtract 1 based on if your last rolls for that catagory was a unit or not. (This helps get a balanced game normally.) The germans get 1 squad plus a platoon leader plus a MMG.
The british patrol is rudely interupted by MG fire from the nearest building. Cpl McNab's section is pinned down and the bren team loses 2 men. Red orders supressive fire and yells for them to come back. { The german's right flanking manuver vanishes into thin air when 2 unlucky die rolls revel 2 more blinds to be fake} When McNab is back he orders that section to shift left thereby screening out the MMG. He has the 2in mortar put down smoke and yells "Platoon Forward" as both sections race towards the house.

Platoon Forward!
The attack suceeds though 4 men go down including Sgt Barns who is seriously wounded. The germans pull back.
Fun and quick battle. The british had a heroic event card which they used to help there hand to hand. This was Pvt John Andrews who is mentioned in dispatches. The Germans forces generated were a little light but the MMG packed a punch. I always love patrols. They are quick and unpredictable.
For my freeform event I chose to see if Pvt Andrews was mentioned in dispatches I felt this was very likely and easily made the roll. For my next event I got character noticed. I don't play with platoon Sgts so that left me with the 3 above. Random roll revelled Red. He knows the following characters, his 2 squad leaders, the men, Company Co " Balls Foster -1, Co Sgt Maj, Sgt McGregore who commands a MMG (cut out at orveto) -2, Cpt Hamlin Forward Observer +1. A random die roll shows that Cpl McNab had an encounter with Lt Talbot. There is no history between the 2 so no modifier. A "2" results in a negative encounter. Turns out the day after the patrol McNab tied one on. Red is ticked so there will be a -1 between them now. However, Red can't fire McNab for 2 reasons. First, he just lost Sgt Barns and second the company Sgt Major McCarthy (a fellow Scot) is a relative of McNab. My second event is Manpower. This will be modified +1 because we won the last battle and -1 becasue "Balls" does not like the platoon. I roll a 4 for no change.
Now we have to find out what to do about Sgt Barns. Turns out he will miss 2 battles. Will the Sgt Major help out? This is possible but we miss the roll. Will Sgt Turner (Gr I) come down from battalion? This is unlikely and we miss this too. Our only choice left is to pull from within the platoon. Pvt Andrews will take 2nd section. Turns out he is a depressing chap (pessimistic/alcohol) but a Gr II leader. Also 1st section shows up with a new section leader, Cpl Rich Clarkson ( Evil/ government Gr I ) And so it goes...
Hopefully this gave everyone a better idea how to play the patrol scenario of Platoon Forward and how to do the post game events. As always, any questions please let me know!
thanks and enjoy

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